Easing Into the ‘New Normal’ Three Years Into the Pandemic

family wearing masks

Trying to find “normal” again as the pandemic lingers into its third year is definitely a challenge for many. There are a lot of mixed messages, and this can create anxiety. For instance, you might hear that COVID cases are increasing in your area, yet your office just announced that masks are optional. 

First off, it’s important to know that COVID is not over, so it’s normal to feel anxious over getting sick. You may not be ready to go to crowded spaces yet, and that’s okay. Take things slow as you readjust to this “new normal.” 

Of course, if you feel that your anxiety is becoming unmanageable, it’s time to talk to a mental health professional. Mental health therapy in New Jersey can help you understand your emotions and how to best deal with them. For now, here are some tips for easing back into everyday life following COVID. 

Pay Attention to How You Feel 

There is no one right way to feel. We’re living through unprecedented times, so give yourself grace as you move into this next chapter. 

Pay attention to how you feel. What makes you feel comfortable? What makes you feel uncomfortable? If you’re not ready to do something yet, you don’t have to. Go slow and give yourself compassion, just as you would someone else. 

Also, know that you are not alone. Other people are experiencing similar emotions. To help shift your attitude, focus on being positive and take time to think of all the things you’re grateful for each day. You are likely in a better place today than at the start of the pandemic! 

Establish Boundaries You’re Comfortable With 

How people live with COVID is a very personal decision. Therefore, you need to establish your boundaries and honor others’ boundaries. While it can be hard to create and enforce limits, having these conversations early on is best. 

Think about what you are comfortable with and let others know. You have the power to decide whether or not to accept a hug, wear a mask, visit public spaces and more. If you have trouble setting boundaries, practice saying them aloud first. 

Set and Follow a Consistent Routine

Setting a routine right now can also be helpful, especially if you feel that you’re going through many changes. Maybe you’re back in the office and your child’s school no longer requires masks, so there’s a lot to juggle with. 

Keeping a routine can be helpful in managing your fears and anxieties. As part of your schedule, you should make time every day for stress relief, social interaction and self-reflection. This way, you can stay on top of your mental health as you re-acclimate yourself.

Be Patient Yet Flexible 

Adjustment is a process that looks different for everyone. Be respectful of where you are in the process, as well as where others are. People have had different experiences with COVID, so not everyone will share your same sentiment. 

However, as you already know, you can’t control other people or situations. If someone feels differently toward COVID, you can’t make them “see” things your way. Allow yourself to be patient and flexible with yourself and others. At the end of the day, you only have to do the things that you are comfortable with. 

Seek Mental Health Therapy in Princeton NJ 

If your anxiety isn’t going away, it may be time to speak to a professional. Some anxiety is perfectly normal, and even healthy, but it can also become unmanageable. If you’re struggling to work or go about your daily life, a mental health professional can help. 

CTRLCare Behavioral Health provides anxiety treatment in Princeton NJ. In fact, we offer a COVID-19 Mental Wellness Program that is designed to help individuals cope with stress and become more resilient. This program provides support and education to help you live a happy and productive life. Contact us today to learn more about our COVID-19 mental health support services.